Clarins: Life is Better with Youth
Posted by Rosepixie on September 19, 2009
This ad was found in a fashion magazine and is for Clarins “Younger Longer” Balm.
The text reads:
Looking younger longer is no longer a dream…
Clarins Age Control Secret
A new vision in age control: Younger Longer’s patented formula goes to the very source of aging to improve the circulatory and nerve networks responsible for younger-looking skin.
With advanced neuro-cosmetic technology and rare concentrated botanicals, skin is revitalized and the fresh, toned, radiance of youth is regained.
It’s a fact. With Clarins, life’s more beautiful.
Dermatologist tested. Non-comedogenic.
The European leader in luxury skin care.
There are so many weird things about this ad. First of all, it seems to be trying to sound scientific, but it’s not really telling us anything. What does this magic cream actually do? No idea. I did some basic internet research on the terms “neuro-cosmetic” and “non-comedogenic” since they were new to me. “Neuro-cosmetic” seems to be a term thrown around by the cosmetics industry a lot, especially in relation to products that are supposed to make you look younger or more healthy, and seems to imply that the product in some way affects the nerves near the surface of the skin (how it does that, or why, in this case is incredibly unclear). “Non-comedogenic” simply means the cream doesn’t block pores, which theoretically reduces the likelihood of pimples. I can think of lots of ways they could have said both of those things much more clearly, but I don’t think they wanted to. I think the intention of this ad is to make the cream sound mysterious and “sciencey”. Science is the new magic, especially when it comes to looking younger.
This ad also explicitly equates looking younger with having a better life and being happier. The ad states “It’s a fact. With Clarins, life is more beautiful.” Well, it’s actually not a fact. Perhaps they have factual studies that their cream can make your skin smoother or clearer or whatever, but not only is that not proof that it makes you more beautiful (something you can’t prove anyway because it’s a value judgment), but they also have absolutely no way of proving that their cream would make your life any better. Even if it does make you more “beautiful”, that doesn’t guarantee that your life will be better or that you will be happier. In fact, you might be more miserable. No one can ever achieve perfect beauty, as defined by the all-knowing magazine industry, and so for some women getting one step closer only makes them more unhappy because it further illustrates how unattainable the actual goal is. Youth and beauty are a messy, messy quagmire and facts rarely play much of a role there.
As is probably clear by now, I really don’t like this ad. I think it’s incredibly deceitful and particularly reprehensible in the way it treats it’s audience. It’s assuming a level of trust in science, but that the reader won’t bother to actually check anything before buying their miracle cream. It promises to make your life better by making you look younger, which is really just a snake-oil sales trick. It’s this kind of ad that really makes me hate the beauty industry and not just want to laugh at it.